CFN 2017 NFL Draft Analysis & Rankings: Cornerbacks

CFN 2017 NFL Draft Analysis & Rankings: Cornerbacks

2017 NFL Draft

CFN 2017 NFL Draft Analysis & Rankings: Cornerbacks


CFN 2017 NFL Draft Analysis & Rankings: Cornerbacks

From the college football perspective, who are the top cornerbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft?

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It’s the best and deepest position in the 2017 NFL Draft – the cornerback situation is loaded.

There’s going to be high-end value throughout the first 100 picks with lots of versatility, plenty of options depending on needs, and lots and lots of speed.

So what’s the college football analysis and take on the 2017 NFL Draft cornerback class? Who can play, and who can’t? It’s this simple – who are the ones who matter, and who are the ones who are just guys who’ll make it if someone gets lucky?

After seeing and covering these guys from recruiting until completion, from the college football perspective …

2017 NFL Draft: Cornerbacks

1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

In a loaded class of corners, he stands out as the easy No. 1 guy. While he only did it for a year at Ohio State, he’s got it all – he’s tough, sub-4.4 fast, and explosive. Once he got his chance to show what he could do in a full-time role. It might take a year for him to grow into the gig – he only rose up for one year – but he’s going to be fantastic after taking a few lumps.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 1st Round

2. Adoree Jackson, USC

There’s a lot to be worried about. He’s not huge, he’s not a hitter, and he’s known more for being a star receiver/returner/defensive back than just a pure corner. However, there are few better athletes in the draft to go along with the tremendous production no matter what he did. He’s not a sure-thing corner, but he’ll make an impact in some way if he doesn’t turn into a special shutdown coverman.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 1st Round

3. Gareon Conley, Ohio State

The whole dynamic has changed after the sexual assault allegations that came down early in the week. Now, he might go undrafted this weekend. Of course, all that matters is the real-world situation – the ranking and analysis is based purely on him as an on-field football prospect.

It took a little while to grow into a baller and was helped a bit by being a part of a loaded secondary. He’s got the tools and the quickness, though, to eventually become a fantastic starter. He’ll likely be a bit overdrafted – he’s not a finished product yet.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: Undrafted

4. Marlon Humphrey, Alabama

Big, quick, and experienced, he has almost no bust potential – but there’s not a huge upside. Great against the run, he’ll get physical, but he could drop a little bit because he won’t be a No. 1 NFL corner. He’ll start, but he’s not going to erase an Antonio Bryant.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 2nd Round

5. Teez Tabor, Florida

Thought of as a potential top ten overall pick at the start of the draft analysis a few years ago, a 4.6 40 – and that’s generous – ended all of that. All of a sudden, he couldn’t seem to do anything right in the draft analyst world. Whatever. He’s a terrific football player who’ll produce at a high level – but don’t be shocked if he sinks like a stone on draft weekend. There’s a LOT of negativity around his draft stock, but if he’s around after the second round, pounce.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 2nd Round

6. Kevin King, Washington

A special athlete with 6-3, 200-pound size, he’s got special tools and upside. He can’t really hit, but he has too many positives not to be an early pick as either a corner of a ball-hawking free safety.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 2nd Round

7. Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

Explosive, he blew up last season in a sensational year for a loaded secondary. An elite athlete, he’s got the basics to grow into a special breakout player from the pack if given a little bit of time. In other years, he’d be one of the top three corners off the board.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 2nd Round

8. Tre’Davious White, LSU

While not necessarily another elite LSU NFL star defensive back, he’s got good size and great speed who handles himself well in any situation. He won’t hit anyone, but he’ll take on any challenge against a No. 1 target.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 2nd Round

9. Jourdan Lewis, Michigan

While he didn’t show enough speed in offseason workouts, and he might not be all that big, and he might not look the NFL part, he’s a tremendous coverman with football talent beyond the tools. His draft stock should be all over the board, but he’ll fall a bit too far.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 4th Round

10. Sidney Jones, Washington

Like most Washington defenders under Chris Petersen, he plays with an attitude. An eventual leader of a secondary, he’s got all the intangibles and he’s always doing everything right. It’ll take a redshirt year to get him, though, after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 2nd Round

11. Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson

Tall and fast, he made a ton of big plays for a national champion defense. He won’t be anyone’s NFL No. 1 corner, but he’ll always find a way to be around the ball making things happen.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 3rd Round

12. Fabian Moreau, UCLA

It’s a bad break that he’s coming out in a killer year for corners – and that he suffered a pectoral muscle injury. One of the best all-around athletes in a draft full of great all-around athletic defensive backs, if he can become stronger against the run, he should be a great value pick.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 3rd Round

13. Quincy Wilson, Florida

He never, ever seemed to get the attention he probably deserved in a loaded Gator defensive backfield. He’ll end up doing more at safety if he makes it, but early on, he’s a battler at corner some coach is going to love.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 3rd Round

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14. Shaquill Griffin, UCF

With freakish athleticism in a 6-0, 195-pound frame, he’s it in terms of measureables. He should be a great value pick after the first wave of top corners are gone.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 3rd Round

15. Cameron Sutton, Tennessee

Ultra-productive, he can play beyond the measureables. While he’s not going to blast anyone, he’s a tough veteran who’s been through the NFL wars.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 4th Round

16. Rasul Douglas, West Virginia

While he’s not a blazer, the 6-2, 210-pounder is a dream in terms of body type, with the versatility to eventually see time at safety. He won’t get pushed around by anyone, but he’ll get ripped up by the smallish, quick targets.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 4th Round

17. William Likely, Maryland

A potential star as a returner, his can play in a defensive backfield, but at 5-7, he’ll get picked on early and often. The talent is undeniable, and he’s a baller who finds a way to get the job done, but again, his worth will mostly be as a special teamer.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 5th Round

18. Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado

Super-athletic and with great size, a lot of scouts will fall in love with the 6-3, 200-pound frame and superior leaping skills. But he’s more prospect at the next-level than certain production.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 4th Round

NFL Draft: Draft Them. Don’t Draft Them. Whatever.

19. Damontae Kazee, San Diego State

The NFL tools might not be there, but he dominated for one of the nation’s top defenses. Eventually a safety if he can beef up, he can hit and can attack the ball.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 5th Round

20. Howard Wilson, Houston

A tall, quick corner with good ball skills, he got over a knee injury, but he’s going to need time. He’s more upside than sure-thing – but there’s a lot to like.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 4th Round

21. Jalen Myrick, Minnesota

Really, really, really fast, he ripped up a sub-4.3 at the Combine. With his build and wheels, he could turn into a whale of a safety if he doesn’t make it as a corner.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 4th Round

23. Corn Elder, Miami

The talent isn’t quite there in terms of NFL speed, but he’s a baller who can hit. He could last a long time as a special teamer.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 5th Round

24. Aarion Penton, Missouri

While he’s a light 5-9, 177-pounder, he always seems to find his way around the ball. He might find a role as a Dime defender.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 6th Round

25. Sojourn Shelton, Wisconsin

He’s not big enough, but he was a No. 1 corner for a top defense for a long, long time. He can move well enough to find a role.

Where He’ll Be Drafted: 6th Round

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